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    Posted March 17, 2011 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Recovery in Japan: After the earthquake

    VanHoang and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Earthquake strikes Japan

    A touching lesson from a 9-year-old Japanese boy!


    <<The credits of this post go to the author at lemac@yahoo.com and the e-newspaper at www.dantri.com. I'm only responsible for translating the post into English. I tried to reach the author yet the email adress provided on the site is incorrect. As the story was so touching, and the lesson learnt to me is immense, I decided to take the privilege to post it up here, to share the greatness of people of such a great nation.

    The translation is based strictly on the original post. No addition was being made.>>


    Last night I was sent to a primary school, in order to assist the autonomous association there distributing food to the victims. Among the long waiting queue, I noticed a boy at around 9 year-old, wearing only a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. The weather was really cold and he was standing at the end of the line. I was afraid that there might not be any food left when his turn came, thus I came over to talk to him.


    He told me that the earthquake and tsunami came when he was at school, in his physical education class. His father, who worked nearby, came to the school. From the balcony on the 3rd floor of the school, he saw his father and the car being swept away by the water. His father had most likely died.


    As I asked where his mom was, he told me that since his family lived close to the ocean, his mom and brother must have not escaped in time. He quickly turned to wipe away his tears when being asked about his relatives.


    Seeing that he was cold, I took off my police coat and covered him up with it. Inadvertently, my dinner portion felt out of the pocket. I picked it up, gave it to him, and said: “I’m afraid there’d be no food left when it’s your turn. Here is mine. I already ate. You go ahead and have it” The little boy received the food, bending over to thank. I was thinking he would start eating voraciously at that moment, but no. He carried it and went straight to the front of the line, where the people are handing out food, put what I gave him into the box of food that was being distributed, then turned back to the queue.


    Extremely surprised, I asked why he didn’t eat it instead. He answered: “ Because there are more people who probably are hungrier than me. I put it in there so they could fairly distribute it to everyone”


    After hearing his answer, I turned away to cry so people couldn’t see it. I was moved. I can’t believe that a 9 year-old little boy, who was only in the 3rd grade, could teach me such a lesson in this difficult moment. A very touching lesson about sacrifice. A nation with children who are only 9 year-old, yet already know how to be patient, to bear hardship, and to sacrifice for others is undoubtedly a great nation.


    Even though this country is in its most critical moments, it certainly will revive stronger, thanks to the people who know to sacrifice themselves for others at such a young age.

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